Genre: Epic Black Metal Extreme Progressive Metal Melodic Black Metal
Label: Erthe and Axen Records
A very talented band rises from Lake Forest of California, with the strange name Xanthochroid. The etymology of their name comes from ancient Greek and is used to describe pale skinned people with blond hair. The band was formed in 2005 and five years later their first EP “Iced, In Extremis” was out, followed in 2011 by another EP entitled “Incultus“. Finally on 21st of December 2012 Xanthochroid unleashed their debut full-length album “Blessed He with Boils” via their own label Erthe and Axen Records.
Xanthochroid call their music cinematic black metal and their lyrical concept is based on a fantasy world created by Sam Meandor (vocals, keys and acoustic guitars). After the atmospheric acoustic intro “Aquatic Deathgate Existence“, the title song “Blessed He with Boils” sets things very clear from the beginning. Beautiful, epic melodic synth based black metal, with many progressive elements and a wide variety of vocals is what the band offers. And they are absolutely perfect in what they do! Their music is very complex and variable, since the rhythm and mood inside compositions change constantly. Synths and guitars are of equal importance for their melodies and their cooperation is so balanced and natural that everything sounds as an inseparable part of a metal orchestra. Acoustic guitars and instrumental parts are widely used; there are 4 acoustic songs, including the wonderful “Winter’s End” for which the band released it’s first official video. Their epic fantasy atmosphere is highlighted with Sam’s amazing vocals! He can sing almost everything, from black metal screams and epic clean vocals, to a softer melodic almost romantic neoclassical style, with vocal qualities really uncommon for the genre! There are totally 10 songs in the album lasting for 58 minutes. It is better though to see this album as a big composition, since there are some main themes repeated in various songs. The band has worked many years in the compositions and spent almost one year in recording studio in order to perfect every detail. At least the result rewards their efforts! Their production is professional and at the same time they have a very personal style.
“Blessed He with Boils” is a must-have for fans of epic melodic cinematic progressive black metal. Xanthochroid have released a very impressive debut, with excellent sound and music quality. I hope they get proper distribution and support. I am pretty sure though, that if they continue this way they will get the recognition they deserve… The album comes in digipak edition, including a 4-page booklet with their lyrics and a summary of their concept. The beautiful cover artwork and the map inside the package are illustrated by Natacha Nielsen. You better visit their official pages bellow and discover this great band.